- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 2, 2013

The family of a 16-year-old Bangladeshi student who is playing the role of Malala Yousafzai in a new film is so fearful of revenge attacks by the Taliban that they have insisted that no photos of the girl be released until midway through filming.

Amateur actress Fatima Sheikh was selected by Indian director Amjad Khan to play the schoolgirl in an upcoming biopic which chronicles Malala’s extraordinary story, the Daily Mail reports.

The only picture to be released of the actress shows her wearing a niqab with just a narrow slit for her eyes. The family has insisted no other photos be released until filming is well under way, the Mail reports.

Malala has become a global icon following her heroic struggle for the rights of girls to be educated in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

After the Taliban gained control of the area in 2007, she began writing for the BBC under the the name “Gul Makai,” the Mail reports. A hitman shot the 14-year-old at point-blank range just above her left eye in October of last year, te Mail reports.

Mr. Khan has titled his film “Gul Makai” and will shoot in London, Pakistan, Iran and India, the Mail reports.

“[Fatima] is a student. She looks like Malala — but there are security issues,” he told The Independent.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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